Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Program offers parents medical guidance for international adoptions

Date:
March 18, 2014
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
With thousands of internationally adopted children arriving in the United States each year, there is a growing demand for a specialized health-care support system that helps adoptive parents and children navigate through the international adoption process. Now, pediatric infectious disease specialists in California have created a new program to meet this need.

The Wilsons of Bakersfield, Calif., whose family includes three biological children, two brothers adopted from Ethiopia in 2011 and two boys adopted from China 2013, have benefited from the expertise of UCLA's International Adoption and Travel Clinic.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

With thousands of internationally adopted children arriving in the United States each year, there is a growing demand for a specialized health-care support system that helps adoptive parents and children navigate through the international adoption process.

Now, Dr. Yvonne Bryson and Dr. Nava Yeganeh, pediatric infectious disease specialists at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, have created a new program to meet this need.

The goal of the hospital's new International Adoption and Travel Clinic is to provide parents with a medical-based support system as they embark on their adoption journey.

"Children adopted internationally, many from developing countries, may have spent months to years in orphanages and other state-run institutions; their medical histories may be incomplete, and many need specific infectious disease-related attention," said Bryson, professor and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Mattel. We also help families prepare for international travel, with guidance on recommended vaccines and other medical preparations."

The Wilsons of Bakersfield, Calif., have experienced firsthand some of the challenges of trying to piece together medical expertise on their own. The family includes three biological children, two brothers adopted from Ethiopia in 2011 and two boys adopted from China last year. The Wilsons were referred to the new UCLA clinic when their sons from China needed an infectious disease specialist because of possible tuberculosis exposure. The clinic is now completing other missing tests so that the boys have a complete medical workup.

"Having medical experts from a dedicated international adoption clinic can really help streamline things, whether it's getting a timely review of the potential child's health records or having a more comprehensive check list of necessary vaccines and specific tests that need to be performed once the child is home with us," said the Wilson boys' mother, Brooke. "We are starting another adoption in China, and this time, we plan on working with the clinic from the beginning of the process. Having a medical group available to help families before and after their journeys with their children is an incredible asset."

When parents have identified a prospective child for adoption, the doctors provide a pre-adoption screening by reviewing available medical records, photos and videos of the child to evaluate his or her health. They look at several key factors, including growth parameters, developmental milestones and evidence of abnormal behavioral or physical characteristics that may signal conditions such fetal alcohol syndrome.

Prior to the parents and any additional family members going abroad to pick up their child, the program will prepare them for international travel by providing vaccinations and any medical and practical supplies the they need to bring with them.

Once parents arrive in a foreign country to pick up their child, they are typically required to stay for weeks or months before the process is finalized. During this period, they spend time with their new child and will invariably have questions about the child's health and development. Family members may also experience common travel-related illnesses. Physicians from the UCLA clinic are available throughout this time to communicate by e-mail with the parents to answer questions and offer medical expertise.

Once a child is brought to his or her new home in the United States, the program offers a post-adoption evaluation, including a complete checkup, screenings for certain diseases and evaluation for anemia, asthma, dental health and development. If necessary, they also provide referrals to a variety of pediatric specialists.

"Adoption is an emotional journey, and our goal is to provide the families with medical guidance and support during this life-changing event," said Yeganeh, a clinical instructor of pediatric infectious diseases at UCLA. "We hope to make the process smoother and help ease some of the stress and uncertainty."

The clinic's medical services are also available to families adopting children domestically.

In addition, the international travel clinic is available for any family planning to travel abroad on business or vacation, offering vaccines, counseling and antimicrobials and other pediatric-specific preventative care for children, who are most vulnerable to travel-related illness.

To learn more, visit www.uclahealth.org/adoptiontravel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original article was written by Amy Albin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Program offers parents medical guidance for international adoptions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093041.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2014, March 18). Program offers parents medical guidance for international adoptions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093041.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Program offers parents medical guidance for international adoptions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093041.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins